MAPS Email Newsletter:
It Takes a Village
August 8, 2013
The summer is moving ahead at top speed and there’s no sign of things slowing down for us here at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).
We currently have six studies of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) initiated or in the approval process. In the last month we’ve made significant progress in four of these studies—in South Carolina, Colorado, Israel, and Canada—in which we’re collecting essential data on safety and effectiveness and refining our research methodology for the Phase 3 trials required to make MDMA-assisted psychotherapy a legal treatment for PTSD.
At the same time, we’re getting ready to share our research results with the broader community at several upcoming conferences exploring science, medicine, and drug policy. Find out how you can get involved this summer!
Video: Updates on MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD research at Psychedelic Science 2013.
The August 2013 edition of the MAPS Email Newsletter brings you the latest psychedelic research news and media, including:
- The Indiegogo campaign for the Zendo Project raises $17,786 for psychedelic harm reduction services, far surpassing our original goal
- The results of our recently completed observational study in Canada shows that ayahuasca-assisted therapy may help people with substance use disorders
- The updated version of our MDMA Investigator’s Brochure is now online, providing a complete overview of research into the risks and effects of MDMA in clinical and non-clinical settings
- MAPS Founder Rick Doblin talks to London Real about the promise and challenge of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD research at an international scale
Remember: You can follow us on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for breaking news, multimedia, and more.
The Summer 2013 Research Edition of the MAPS Bulletin will be out soon, with complete summaries (from ayahuasca to Zendo) of our current international research and educational programs. Give $40 or more (or donate at least $3.33 a month for 12 months), and we’ll send you a copy to share with friends, family, and colleagues.
For safer spaces,
MAPS Director of Communications and Marketing
- Canada: Institutional Review Board Approves Amended Study Protocol
- Boulder: Amended Protocol Submitted to FDA and IRB
- U.S. Veterans Study: Site Passes Monitoring Visit
- Israel: Adherence Ratings Completed for First Two Subjects
- New Edition of MDMA Investigator’s Brochure Now Available Online
- Ayahuasca-Assisted Therapy May Have Benefits for People with Substance Use Disorders
- Zendo Project Indiegogo Campaign Raises
$17,786 for Psychedelic Harm Reduction
- We Rely on Individuals to Support our Research and Education Programs
- Alternet, London Real, Cannabis Now Magazine, and more…
- Ayahuasca Religions by Bia Labate and colleagues
- Vine of the Soul: Encounters with Ayahuasca Documentary DVD
- International Drug Policy Reform Conference: October 23-26, Denver, CO
- National Bioneers Conference: October 18-20, San Rafael, CA
- Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics: October 11-13, New York, NY
- Spirit Plant Medicine: October 26-27, Vancouver, Canada
- Researchers Propose New Study of Marijuana and PTSD
- In Memoriam: Andrew Sewell, M.D. (November 22, 1971—July 21, 2013) by Bob Wold
Treating PTSD With MDMA-Assisted Therapy:
Ayahuasca-Assisted Therapy for Substance Use Disorders:
Jordi Riba, Ph.D., reviews 14 years of research into ayahuasca’s effects on neuropsychological performance and emotion at Psychedelic Science 2013. Over 70 videos now available!
TREATING PTSD WITH MDMA-ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY
1. Canada: Institutional Review Board Approves Amended Study Protocol
On August 2, 2013, the amended protocol and other documents for our upcoming Canadian study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD were submitted for review by Health Canada. The Canadian Institutional Review Board approved the amended protocol and other documents on July 12. The study will begin enrolling subjects after Health Canada approves the amended protocol. The amended protocol will also be submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Learn more…
$578,000 estimated study cost • $16,000 raised • $561,000 still needed
2. Boulder: Amended Protocol Submitted to FDA and IRB
On August 6, 2013, we submitted to the Institutional Review Board an amended protocol for our new study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in Boulder, Colorado. The amended protocol was submitted the following day, August 7, to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The amendments include changes to the dosing schedule and the addition of two safety measures. Led by Clinical Investigator Marcela Ot’alora, this study is exploring the safety and effectiveness of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy while also exploring whether we can reduce the costs of the research while maintaining effectiveness by pairing experienced therapists with intern co-therapists. Learn more…
$474,000 estimated study cost • $190,000 raised • $284,000 still needed
3. U.S. Veterans Study: Site Passes Monitoring Visit
From August 1-6, 2013, MAPS clinical research staff conducted a regularly scheduled monitoring visit at the study site for our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for U.S. veterans, firefighters, and police officers with PTSD. During the visit, MAPS Lead Clinical Research Associate Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D., and CRA Rebecca Matthews double-checked subject medical records, reviewed the results of the July 8 DEA inspection, and confirmed that the study protocol is being followed correctly. Learn more…
$1,380,000 estimated study cost • $875,000 raised • $504,000 still needed
4. Israel: Adherence Ratings Completed for First Two Subjects
International researchers review updates and innovations in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research at Psychedelic Science 2013.
On July 19 and 31, 2013, trained raters completed
their evaluations of the video recordings for the first two subjects in our ongoing Israeli study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for subjects with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD. The purpose of these adherence ratings is to ensure that the therapist teams understand how to follow the therapeutic approach specified in our Treatment Manual before treating the rest of the subjects in the study. The potential third subject is now being screened. Learn more…
$468,000 estimated study cost • $39,000 raised • $428,000 still needed
Learn more about MDMA-assisted psychotherapy on or at mdmaptsd.org.
5. New Edition of MDMA Investigator’s Brochure Now Available Online
Our MDMA Investigator’s Brochure describes the physical, chemical, and pharmacological characteristics of MDMA, its effects in nonclinical and clinical studies, and the safety profile of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. This brochure focuses on research and information relevant to researchers and regulators engaged in clinical trials with MDMA. The Seventh Edition (submitted to the FDA on August 1, 2013) is the first update since 2010. Download the MDMA Investigator’s Brochure…
AYAHUASCA-ASSISTED THERAPY FOR SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS
6. Ayahuasca-Assisted Therapy May Have Benefits for People with Substance Use Disorders
Press Release (July 29, 2013): People suffering from substance use disorders may experience significant benefits from ayahuasca-assisted therapy, according to a recently completed observational study published in the June 2013 edition of Current Drug Abuse Reviews. Sponsored by MAPS, this study reported significant improvements in measures of mental and behavioral health related to substance use disorders. Learn more… | View the article…
The treatment room for our ongoing Israeli study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD.
Help us complete this study.
7. Zendo Project Indiegogo Campaign Raises $17,786 for Psychedelic Harm Reduction
Last month, we asked for your help in raising funds to support the Zendo Project psychedelic harm reduction services at festivals and events around the world. Our passionate community of supporters took us beyond our original goal of $10,000 in just 11 days, and the excitement didn’t stop there. In 30 days, 245 funders from nine countries donated a total of $17,786 to support our psychedelic harm reduction services. These funds will go directly to transportation costs for the structure, equipment, and volunteers, as well as materials to make the space even more comfortable and inviting. Reaching our goal means that Zendo Project volunteers will have the resources they need to address the growing need for these services. Our supporters took us far beyond our original goal, helping us reach not one, not two, but our first three Stretch Goals. Our Indiegogo is campaign is over, but you can still donate to support the project. Learn more…
8. We Rely on Individuals to Support our Research and Education Programs
Since our last newsletter, MAPS received $34,288 from 78 individuals in support for our core research programs. Special thanks to George Goldsmith and Ekaterina Malievskaia for their gift of $25,000 in support of the MDMA-Assisted Therapy Fund, and to Aubrey Marcus for his gift of $5,000 in general support. In the past month, MAPS also received over $27,000 in donations for the Zendo Project, with $17,786 from our Indiegogo campaign and lead gifts from Lucas Jushinski ($10,000, by direct contribution), David Bronner ($2,000, through Indiegogo) and Robert Barnhart ($1,008, through Indiegogo). With your help, we are transforming medicine—donate today.
On behalf of everyone who may benefit from our research and education now and in the future, thank you to everyone who has given. We couldn’t do it without you. —MAPS
Explore MAPS in the Media for more psychedelic and medical marijuana research news.
9. AlterNet, London Real, Cannabis Now, and more…
AlterNet: When Will the Psychiatric Establishment Reject the Drug War and Embrace Psychedelic Research? | view
Andrew Penn | July 17, 2013
AlterNet: Why the Scientific and Medical Establishments Have Such Biased Approaches to Psychedelics | view
Ido Hartogsohn | July 17, 2013
Refinery29: The Molly Craze Is Back, and Buzzier than Ever | view
Evan Ross Katz | August 3, 2013
London Real: Rick Doblin, Fighting the Good Fight | watch
London Real | July 21, 2013
Cannabis Now Magazine: The U.S. War on Knowledge | view
Jeremy Daw | July 15, 2013
Women’s Visionary Congress: WVC Workshop at Psychedelic Science 2013 | view
Anna Szostek | August 3, 2013
Being Bipolar Podcast: What Is Psychedelic Harm Reduction? | listen
Bret Bernhoft | July 22, 2013
Quantum Life Studios Podcast: Psychedelic Research & Therapy Interview with Brad Burge of MAPS | listen
Simon Green | August 4, 2013
All proceeds from the MAPS Store support psychedelic and medical marijuana research and education.
10. Ayahuasca Religions by Bia Labate and colleagues
The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo
by Howard G. Charing, Peter Cloudsley, and Pablo Amaringo
192 pages | May 2011
Illustrating the evolution of his intricate and colorful art, this book contains 47 full-color reproductions of Amaringo’s latest works with detailed explorations of the rich Amazonian mythology underlying each painting.
$40.00 | Now available
All proceeds support psychedelic research.
11. Vine of the Soul: Encounters with Ayahuasca Documentary DVD
Vine of the Soul: Encounters with Ayahuasca
DVD | 52 minutes | Released 2010
Vine of the Soul: Encounters with Ayahuasca is an award-winning documentary that explores the mystery of ayahuasca shamanism, offering insights into the nature of spirituality and mystical experience. Filmmaker Richard Meech follows key protagonists as they journey to Peru—and back home—capturing in verité style both the life-altering epiphanies and nights of terror encountered after drinking the sacred brew.
$20.00 | Now available
All proceeds support psychedelic research.
See our Events Calendar for more!
12. International Drug Policy Reform Conference: October 23-26, Denver, CO
The International Drug Policy Reform Conference is a biennial event that brings together people from around the world who believe that the war on drugs is doing more harm than good. It brings together over 1,000 attendees representing 30 different countries. Reform 2013 will include an entire track dedicated to psychedelics in science, medicine, policy, and international harm reduction.
13. National Bioneers Conference: October 18-20, San Rafael, CA
Includes a panel on “The Healing Potential of Cannabidiol, MDMA, and Entheogens” with Martin Lee (author, Smoke Signals and Acid Dreams), Amy Emerson (MAPS Director of Clinical Research), and Ralph Metzner (psychedelic researcher). Moderated by J.P. Harpignies (Bioneers associate producer).
14. Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics: October 11-13, New York, NY
Horizons is a conference about psychedelics that is held annually in New York City at Judson Memorial Church. Its goal is to open a fresh dialogue on psychedelics’ role in medicine, culture, history, spirituality, and creativity. This will be the 7th annual Horizons conference.
15. Spirit Plant Medicine: October 26-27, Vancouver, Canada
Spirit Plant Medicine 2013 will include a speaker from MAPS Canada as well as a MAPS Canada information and exhibit booth.
Help us make psychedelics and marijuana into prescription medicines—donate today!
16. Researchers Propose New Study of Marijuana and PTSD
An independent researcher has launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for a possible observational study exploring the relationship between marijuana use and PTSD. Learn more…
17. In Memoriam: Andrew Sewell, M.D. (November 22, 1971—July 21, 2013) by Bob Wold
The cluster headache community, along with his family, friends and all the other communities he touched, was deeply saddened to learn of Andrew Sewell’s passing.
As people age, they often begin to wonder about what type of legacy they will leave. Andrew may not have spent much time wondering due to his young age. However, he would be, and his family should be, proud of his legacy within the cluster headache community. He may have been aware of the positive impact he had upon so many individuals he helped personally. He may not have been aware of the life-changing effects he had upon tens of thousands of cluster headache sufferers around the world.
His early work with us and MAPS while at Harvard, with cluster patients and the use of psychedelics as a breakthrough in treatments, lead Andrew to meet with them and understand the significance the condition had upon them. As it relates to this community, his legacy not only includes impacting the lives of those who suffer, but also their families—a positive change for so many that will become generational in nature.
Following his introduction to this community nearly a dozen years ago, Andrew dedicated a great deal of his time to helping as many people as he was able to reach. Personally helping all that contacted him, building a website to bring information and support to those afflicted, and continuing to advance these treatments through research and education. Andrew knew that this isn’t always the easiest research path, nonetheless he never stopped working for people that suffer from this disabling condition. He was the lead investigator on a new study that is currently underway with Clusterbusters.
Andrew became aware of these treatments helping in not only eliminating this dreadful physical pain, but also helping heal the emotional damage that chronic pain such as this causes.
When a doctor ends a patient’s pain and also heals their psychological damage, he is appreciated and revered. When a doctor is an integral part of doing this for tens of thousands of people, with more to follow even after his passing, he leaves a community incredibly appreciative, stunned, saddened, and mourning the loss of a great advocate and friend. —Bob Wold, President, Clusterbusters
More: Yale School of Medicine: In Memoriam: R. Andrew Sewell, M.D.
Learn more about psychedelics as treatments for cluster headaches…
Read Andrew Sewell’s advice for students: “So You Want to be a Psychedelic Researcher?”